When it comes to happiness, it’s very important to remember to ACT AS YOU WANT TO FEEL. People believe they act because of the way they feel, but in fact, we very often feel because of the way we act.
So to change your emotions, change your actions. If you want to feel like a caring person, act in a caring way. If you want to have more loving feelings toward someone, perform loving actions for that person’s benefit. Doing good makes you feel good.
It really works.
The Big Man and I went away for the weekend, and to his great annoyance, he couldn’t find his iPod when we got home. He thought it wasn’t even worth the trouble to call the hotel and gym we used. Eager to earn a check in the “think of small treats and courtesies” box on my happiness-project self-scoring chart, I went ahead and called.
I had no real hope that the iPod would be found, but awarded myself a gold star just for calling (and I’ll do anything for a gold star).
Surprise—Brian from the gym called. Someone had turned in the iPod, and Brian was mailing it back right away.
The only thing interesting about the story is the question: who felt happier? He who got his beloved iPod back, or she who made the call that located it?
Answer: Of the two of us, I felt happier. It thrilled me to imagine how pleased he would be. Do good, feel good.